On July 8th, 2023, H.E. Mr. Chittipat Tongprasroeth, Ambassador of Thailand to Switzerland, welcomed representatives from various government agencies and diplomatic missions to the opening ceremony of the 24th Thai Festival. Distinguished guests included Mr. Heinrich Schellenberg, Head of Asia and Pacific Division, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, Mr. Erwin Bollinger, Head of Bilateral Economic Relations Division and Federal Council Delegate for Trade Agreements, Mr. Philipp Baeriswyl, Head of Protocol of Federal Assembly, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Thailand to the UN in Geneva and spouse, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Thailand to the World Trade Organization and the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva and spouse. In addition, Ambassadors and Chargé d ’Affaires of the Embassies of China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Viet Nam, Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Egypt, Jordan, Dominican Republic, and Angola. Additionally, Thai Honorary Consuls-General in Basel and Zürich, members of Team Thailand, representatives from private sectors, and officials from the Municipality of Köniz, where the Embassy is located, were also in attendance.
This year’s highlights included the importance of sustainable and balanced development, efficient and eco-friendly resource utilization, and the advancement of green innovation and technology. To this end, the Embassy actively encouraged all shops at the 24th Thai Festival to apply the use of reusable containers, collaborated with local Bernese companies in recycling food waste to generate fuel energy and electricity, and exhibited an impressive “Artificial Coral Reef,” crafted from recycled materials by Siam Cement Group. This would raise awareness about Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy Model and reflect Thailand’s commitment to driving forward the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Furthermore, the Embassy also took this opportunity to promote potential Thai products, such as sweet young coconut in order to further expand its market access into Switzerland.
The Royal Thai Embassy in Bern has organized the Thai Festival continuously for 26 years, making it a highly regarded annual event in the city of Bern. The Festival has become a meeting point for Thai people, Swiss residents, and international visitors. This year’s festival attracted approximately 10,000 attendees, providing a valuable platform for fostering people-to-people contact, showcasing features inter alia Thai arts&culture, Thainess (way of living and thinking), incorporating government’s priorities and relevant policies which would help boost confidence in the country.
By Nadeem Faisal Baiga